The Fairport Music Festival Brings People Together

Iron Smoke Distillery hosted a number of bands during the event.
Story and photos by Lauren Chamberlain

Music is known to unite and heal. The Fairport Music Festival plays on that theme and takes it to another level. This past weekend the annual festival kicked off their 18th production. 

Starting all the way back in the spring of 2005, this festival began in the minds of Fairport residents Rob Burch and Andy McDermott who wanted to shake things up a bit for a good cause. The two of them worked with local establishments and Fairport residents to come up with a way to do just this, and thus the Fairport Music Festival was born.

This festival provides nonstop entertainment for the two-day event. Good music, games and festival foods to food trucks and vendors made up the event. Some vendors consisted of not-for-profit agencies to advertise their mission presence in the community. 

Currently, the event has gained a lot of traction and popularity both locally and regionally. It is a wonderful event that brings people together through music and benefits Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. Numbers are not in yet for this year, but in 2022 they were able to raise over $280,000, bringing the overall amount over the years to $2.3 million!    

Not only is this festival for a great cause, but it is also a ton of fun. 

Festival goers cross the bridge in Fairport to enjoy all the festivities.

This year, stages were located all over Fairport and hosted dozens of artists. They had main stages outside, one by the railroads, the power station, and the other by the canal. The rest were held at local businesses like Smokin’ Hot Chicks, My Wine & Cheese Bar Too, Fairport Brewing Company, Iron Smoke Distillery, Tin Cup Social, B-Side, Mulconry’s, and The Deland House on Vine. 

Festival goers could choose to stay outside, mill about the participating businesses or stay at one place. Whatever one decided to do, there is no doubt they enjoyed themselves. 

The event highlighted rock, folk, alternative and country from an array of musicians both large and small. Just some of the featured artists that performed were Jenn Cristy, Tommy Brunett Band, Blue 22, Don Shafer, Northside Johnny, Chartwell, M80s, Magnolia Boulevard, Begging Angels, Roy Wilson and the Buzzards, Pete Griffith Group and so many more. The entire line-up can be found at I highly recommend if you did not attend the festival this year to go and check out some of these extremely talented groups. 

I spent much of my Saturday night at Iron Smoke Distillery with Blue 22, Chartwell and the Tommy Brunett Band. After they played a few songs, Tommy invited friends up on stage like Tyler Norton from M80s, Blue 22, Jenn Cristy, and a few others to close off a successful weekend of music. 

Next year be sure to get your tickets, enjoy some music and help Golisano Children Hospital at Strong continue to give renowned care to children in need. It’s a win-win event. 


Lauren Chamberlain, originally from Irondequoit, NY, is double majoring in Writing & Communication Arts and Visual Communications Design at Keuka College. She will graduate in 2024. Lauren is a long time lover of reading and writing. At Keuka College she has created two publications including Who is Penn Yan? Volume 8 and the school’s literary magazine, Crooked Lake Collections.

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